Review: Huion Kamvas GT-190 Pen Display

The Huion Kamvas GT-190 pen display has been in the market for almost two years already. Together with the Huion GT-220, they were among the earliest Cintiq alternatives around. Back when the GT-190 was released, it wasn't even in the Kamvas series, but now there's a big "KAMVAS" label on the packaging box. Other than the additional Kamvas label, the pen display has essentially the same specs as it did on day 1, and here are the specifications (that matter):

  • Screen: 19-inch
  • Resolution: 1440 x 900
  • Aspect ratio: 16:10
  • Panel type: TFT
  • Pressure sensitivity: 2048 levels
  • Viewing angle 80 degrees horizontal, 60 degrees vertical
  • Brightness: 250 cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 700:1
  • Response time: 5ms
  • Number of colours: 16.7m
  • Video ports: VGA and DVI

Oh, the unit that I have is actually a review unit provided by Gearbest. Should you need more details, visit the product page on Gearbest at: https://www.gearbest.com/graphics-tablets/pp_1167201.html?lkid=12424642

And if you don't know what a pen display is, it's basically a monitor that you can draw on. Since it's a monitor, you need to connect it to a computer to use it.

All the things included


Here's the list of items included in the box:

  • Monitor and stand
  • 2 pens
  • A pen stand with 8 replacement nips
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Screwdriver and 4 screws (for the stand)
  • Power brick and cable
  • USB cable for monitor-computer connection
  • USB cable for charging the pen
  • VGA cable
  • Driver disc and manual

The main thing to take note here is the only graphics cable included is a VGA cable. Computers with VGA graphics port nowadays are quite rare. So you may need an adaptor in order to use this pen display.


The stand is not fixed onto the monitor so you have to use the screwdriver and screws provided to fix that yourself. It's easy, just follow the instructions pasted behind. In short, make sure the latch is facing upwards.


This is how the stand when fixed properly.


That's the lowest position possible.


That's the USB port at the back. The USB cable for this will connect to the computer. This allows the pen to be recognised.


These are the two graphic ports: VGA and DVI. Thankfully they have a DVI port as well. I was able to use a DVI-MiniDisplay Port adaptor and get the pen display working. All my computers do not have the VGA ports.


The overall build quality is decent. It feels plasticky but it's solid. The screen is extremely reflective.

And because the screen is so glossy, there could be some movement issues with hand on such surfaces. It might be good to get one of those artist gloves for drawing on the screen. It will provide a smoother and more comfortable drawing experience, and also not smudge the display with oil from the hand.


The 19-inch screen has a resolution of only 1440 by 900. For a screen this size, it should have a higher resolution like 1080P. Things do look a bit pixelated but it's not really a big deal.


These are the buttons for the pen display. They can be used to change the brightness, contrast and other settings. Note that the brightness of this pen display is only 250 cd/m2. That's not very bright. I actually measured only 135cd/m2 with my Spyder5Pro Colour Calibrator. It's definitely not the brightest screen around, but it's usable. The brightness reminds me of those previous generation laptop screens.


The reflection also affects the colours on the screen.


TFT panels have really lousy viewing angles. You only get the most accurate colours when you're viewing the screen straight on. And even so sometimes when you tilt your head up and down, the colours there may differ. For example, in the photo above, the screen is supposed to be white throughout, but there's a gradient instead.


And this is what it looks like when tilted.

If you're using this pen display for creating art for casual purposes, I guess it should be okay. But it's not a display to be depended on if you require colour accuracy. If I use this in my office, I will need another monitor, one with proper colour accuracy, so that I can check the colours of my art. This is particular important when you're painting skin tones because even the slightest shift can make a person look weird.


That's the pen and stand.


The pen comes with a cap which cannot be posted behind.


That's the port at the back of the pen for charging the internal battery. I've no idea how long the battery can last but based on my experience with such pens, they last for a few weeks. You can still use the pen while it's charging. Two pens are included. so you can also use one while the other is charging.


Thankfully the tip doesn't make any squeaky sound on the glass screen.


Eight replacement tips and the nib remover are included inside the pen stand.


There's quite a distance from the surface of the glass and the screen. So there's definitely parallax. But you can correct for the parallax using the calibration provided by the driver. After calibration, when you're looking straight on the screen, it should have minimal parallax. But the parallax will appear depending on the position of your head relative to the screen.

Performance on various graphics software


Photoshop (Mac)


Adobe Illustrator (Mac)


Medibang Paint Pro (Mac)


Mischief (Mac)


Krita (Mac)


Tayasui Sketches Pro (Mac)

I did not have any issues with the graphics software that I've tested on both Mac and Windows OS.

Pressure sensitivity works well. Strokes appear just the way they should and they taper nicely. Everything feels responsive without much lag.

Conclusion

The drawing performance and functionality are great. I was actually expecting some glitches with the graphics software on Windows and Mac but there were none. The tablet is also quite responsive. Basically, it's as fast as your computer can go.

The GT-190 only feels slightly warm after long period of use. So it's no problem to use it for hours comfortably.

The downside is the use of the TFT panel which affects the colour accuracy and viewing angles. Now that you know the limitations, you should know that this is not a pen display suitable for work that requires colour accuracy, such as for use in the print industry, or for photo editing. If you're using it to draw digital, to create digital art, I don't think it's a big deal.

Another downside is the 1440 by 900 resolution. I really wish that it had a higher 1080P resolution which would make everything look sharper.

Here's a summary of the pros and cons:
Pros
+ Decent build quality
+ 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
+ 8 replacement nibs included
+ Drawing performance is fine and predictable
+ No glitches with all the graphic software I've tested

Cons
- Resolution of 1440 x 900 is low for a screen of this size
- TFT panel colour accuracy and limited viewing angles are not good
- Display is not very bright but useable. This could be a future issue
- Only VGA cable included

Availability

The Huion GT-190 is available at Gearbest. Check it out there, and also other tablets that are selling on there.

Use the coupon code HOGT190CPUN to get it at US $379. Actually, if you want to buy the Huion GT-190, you may want to check out the very similar Ugee 1910B which sometimes sell at an even lower price.

For more reviews on other pen displays, visit https://www.parkablogs.com/tags/wacom-cintiq-alternatives

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